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Proprietary Battery Rant - Photography

I want a digital camera again. Very badly. I am an archivist of the highest, most neurotic order. I feel completely insecure in the thought that I know not what happened on this day, five years ago. That said. I simply CANNOT purchase a digital camera today. All the cameras with the feature sets I require and which are in my price range use PROPRIETARY BATTERIES. My brain is simply incapable of comprehending why manufacturers insist on designing cameras that use non-standard power cells. Don't they get it? Proprietary batteries make NO SENSE in this industry. Certainly not in my ...

  1. #1

    Default Proprietary Battery Rant

    I want a digital camera again. Very badly. I am an archivist of the
    highest, most neurotic order. I feel completely insecure in the
    thought that I know not what happened on this day, five years ago.
    That said. I simply CANNOT purchase a digital camera today. All the
    cameras with the feature sets I require and which are in my price
    range use PROPRIETARY BATTERIES. My brain is simply incapable of
    comprehending why manufacturers insist on designing cameras that use
    non-standard power cells. Don't they get it? Proprietary batteries
    make NO SENSE in this industry. Certainly not in my market segment. A
    camera body that can house four AA cells should house four AA cells.
    What sense is there in using anything else? What's the point? To pi$$
    me off, apparently. Proprietary power cells are the bane of my
    photographic existence. I hate them with all my being.

    *grumble*


    KZ
    Ken Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 17:29:01 -0400, Ken Zenachon <com> wrote:
     

    Sometimes it's just necessary to leave the beaten path: I'd like to see you
    find room for four AA (or even AAA) cells in an Elph or Ixus body ;-)

    daytripper Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    OK, you might want to try some decaf and cut back on the Prozac.
    Randall Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    I'll sell him my Quicktake 150. :-)
    Randall Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Ken Zenachon <com> writes:
     

    Well, I'm with you on that point, Ken. Louise bought me a Nikon CoolPix
    based on two requirements of mine: a viewfinder in addition to the LCD and
    AAs. I have two sets of 4 rechargeable AAs that I use in it when possible,
    but we often camp in sites without electricity for long enough to run the
    batteries down, so having a bag of regular non-rechargeable batteries saves
    the day, plus providing power to our AA-burning flashlights, fans, radios,
    GPS, and assorted toys and goodies. AAs are goooooood.

    However, the battery industry is making great strides in packing more power
    into NiMHs and LiIons, and the camera makers are incorporating those
    batteries into cameras with appropriate shapes to take up less space and to
    be more compact in the smaller cameras, so I'm conceding the AA issue. It's
    a lost cause. The new batteries have proprietary shapes and voltages and
    chargers because the chargers contain sensing devices that will properly
    charge and care for the batteries, making them last much longer at higher
    power than the old carbon-rod batteries of my youth and than the alkalines
    and copper tops, and so on and on.

    Progress, hon. Look at it as progress. We've started packing a 21 Amp/hour
    gel cell with inverter and a multi-strip outlet for all the proprietary
    recharging units for the non-AA stuff we are carrying more of these days.

    Remember, progress and a good margarita will get you a buzz on. Just be
    sure to make them both straight up and with salt.
    --
    Philip Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    Legal Assistance on the Web | spam and read later. email to philip
    http://www.PhilipStripling.com/ | my domain is read daily.
    Phil Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Godfrey DiGiorgi <com> writes:
     

    The camera, however, is what I have to lug around and provide power
    for. Having umpteen proprietary chargers and umpteen sets of
    non-interchangeable proprietary battieres is a horrible mess, and I
    try to fight it every way I can.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <net>, <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <noguns-nomoney.com> <www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera mailing lists: <dragaera.info/>
    David Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    csua.berkeley.edu (Jason O'Rourke) writes:
     
    >
    > Carry forth, Don Quijote!
    >
    > Unless you're going out with professional needs and capacity, you're
    > fretting about nothing. You can get compact batteries that last days
    > and a charger lighter than the batteries you seem willing to carry.[/ref]

    For the laptop, and for the flash, and for the other flash, and for
    the digital camera, and for the other digital camera, and for the cell
    phone, and for the other cell phone. I'm probably forgetting a thing
    or two. Oh, yes, the PDA.

    Laptops and cell phones are hopeless, but I've put my foot down firmly
    on everything else. If it doesn't take standard rechargeables, it
    ain't coming in my house.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <net>, <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <noguns-nomoney.com> <www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera mailing lists: <dragaera.info/>
    David Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 17:29:01 -0400, Ken Zenachon <com>
    wrote:
     

    Over the past 5 years I've had 4 cameras - 3 Casios taking AA and 1
    Sony U20 which takes AAAs (Ni-Mh in all). I also bought a Sony P72
    recently for a friend making sure it was the version that takes AAs
    and not the similar model with a Li-Ion. I've always advised people
    who asked me for buying advice to get something with AAs so you never
    get caught being unable to use it until charged, and you can swap
    batteries during a day out when it runs flat. I've always sworn to
    myself I would never have a camera with any other battery type.

    Then a month ago I took an interest in the Canon G5. I read lots of
    people's opinions on the battery life, and talked with a friend about
    his G3. It all convinced me that I could make the transition. I've had
    it for 2 weeks now and dabbled around with it on a daily basis,
    playing with the settings and taking a few pics a day. It's still
    showing batteries full.

    Furthermore, I had been waiting to see what the delayed Pentax *istD
    was like as it will use AAs, and I also have an old Pentax SFX and a
    few lenses. Their delay has cost them a sale as yesterday my 10D
    arrived, after much procrastination. I can now share batteries if
    required, and charger to cut down on air travel weight.

    So inside 2 weeks I've done a complete 180 on point of view and I have
    no regrets. I've also got a stack of good Ni-Mh AAs and chargers to
    find a use for.

    MJ

    MJ@MJ.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    >Unless you're going out with professional needs and capacity, you're 

    Yeah, but let's say you're backpacking across the Canadian tundra for
    two weeks one summer, and bring a camera with you. a pack of 20 AA's
    is a lot easier to pack than a generator (or even a gel cell if you
    want to pack light), and more convenient than waiting around for a
    solar charger to do it's magic. It's basically a matter of what's
    convenient under certain cirstances.


    Paul Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    too bad...you're missing out on all the canon
    Elphs...S230....S400....SD100...
    and many many good digital cameras!
    com great post!

    "David Dyer-Bennet" <net> wrote in message
    news:dd-b.net... 
    > >
    > > Carry forth, Don Quijote!
    > >
    > > Unless you're going out with professional needs and capacity, you're
    > > fretting about nothing. You can get compact batteries that last days
    > > and a charger lighter than the batteries you seem willing to carry.[/ref]
    >
    > For the laptop, and for the flash, and for the other flash, and for
    > the digital camera, and for the other digital camera, and for the cell
    > phone, and for the other cell phone. I'm probably forgetting a thing
    > or two. Oh, yes, the PDA.
    >
    > Laptops and cell phones are hopeless, but I've put my foot down firmly
    > on everything else. If it doesn't take standard rechargeables, it
    > ain't coming in my house.
    > --
    > David Dyer-Bennet, <net>, <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    > RKBA: <noguns-nomoney.com> <www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    > Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots:[/ref]
    <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/> 


    J Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Dragan Cvetkovic <net> staggered into the Bada Bing and slurred:
     

    Most of the Olympus cameras sold over the past few years come with those
    proprietary Lithium cell "packs" but also take standard AA alkaline, NiCad
    and NiMH cells.

    All of the 3000, 4000, 5000 and 700 series will operate on AA batteries.


    "She's so fat, her blood type is Ragu."
    Silvio Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Most of the arguments against can also be made about the flash cards.

    <com> wrote in message
    news:com... 
    >
    > Over the past 5 years I've had 4 cameras - 3 Casios taking AA and 1
    > Sony U20 which takes AAAs (Ni-Mh in all). I also bought a Sony P72
    > recently for a friend making sure it was the version that takes AAs
    > and not the similar model with a Li-Ion. I've always advised people
    > who asked me for buying advice to get something with AAs so you never
    > get caught being unable to use it until charged, and you can swap
    > batteries during a day out when it runs flat. I've always sworn to
    > myself I would never have a camera with any other battery type.
    >
    > Then a month ago I took an interest in the Canon G5. I read lots of
    > people's opinions on the battery life, and talked with a friend about
    > his G3. It all convinced me that I could make the transition. I've had
    > it for 2 weeks now and dabbled around with it on a daily basis,
    > playing with the settings and taking a few pics a day. It's still
    > showing batteries full.
    >
    > Furthermore, I had been waiting to see what the delayed Pentax *istD
    > was like as it will use AAs, and I also have an old Pentax SFX and a
    > few lenses. Their delay has cost them a sale as yesterday my 10D
    > arrived, after much procrastination. I can now share batteries if
    > required, and charger to cut down on air travel weight.
    >
    > So inside 2 weeks I've done a complete 180 on point of view and I have
    > no regrets. I've also got a stack of good Ni-Mh AAs and chargers to
    > find a use for.
    >
    > MJ
    >[/ref]


    Click Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Paul Fedorenko <look.ca> wrote in
    news:com:
     
    >
    > Yeah, but let's say you're backpacking across the Canadian tundra for
    > two weeks one summer, and bring a camera with you. a pack of 20 AA's
    > is a lot easier to pack than a generator (or even a gel cell if you
    > want to pack light), and more convenient than waiting around for a
    > solar charger to do it's magic. It's basically a matter of what's
    > convenient under certain cirstances.[/ref]

    20 AAs, as in 5 sets of 4 AAs. Is this Alkaline or Lithium? If you mean
    Alkaline then that is less running time than one or 2 proprietary battery
    packs. If you are referring to Lithium AAs then that is quite a bit of
    money on batteries for one time use type.

    One solution would be to buy several of the well priced, high capacity,
    third party battery packs for the camera and charge them all up before your
    trip. My experience is that the Lithium Ion pack hold their charge well
    between uses.



    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~markh/
    "There are 10 types of people, those that
    understand binary and those that don't"

    MarkH Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    I'm a new & happy owner of a Fuji Finepix S602
    It takes 4 x AA cells.

    I bought 12 x 2000mAH NiMH batteries from Jaycar, which also suit my old
    Metz flash, pocket torch (flashlight if you're American), and a few other
    things around the house. So far, I've never run out of power, but I may buy
    some more. There's a discount for buying 10 or more. www.jaycar.com.au

    I chose a charger which runs off 12V (for in-car use) or mains with a
    plugpack. Also from Jaycar. I'll need to rig up a 12V outlet in the car
    which bypasses the ignition switch.

    Whilst I avoid such things as proprietary batteries, I concede that they
    have their place.


    --
    David Martin
    Web Developer
    Info Blue Mountains - Mountains of Blue Mountains Info
    http://infobluemountains.net.au


    "Ken Zenachon" <com> wrote in message
    news:com... 


    David Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Robertwgross wrote: 

    No doubt that you can get a smaller/lighter camera using a proprietary
    lithium battery. You could do almost as well with a STANDARD lithium
    battery.

    If you use your camera all the time and like to upgrade every few years,
    you'll have no problem. But for those of us who use it rarely and
    expect a $500 camera to last forever, proprietary batteries are not
    good. But they are good for the manufacturer's profit margin.

    Camera models have a limited production life time. Lithium Ion
    batteries die whether you use 'em or not. If you buy a "new" battery
    for a five year old camera, you're very likely to get one that has
    been sittin' on the shelf for five years and is seriously degraded.
    After 10 years, you won't be able to find one anywhere.

    I have a Minolta SLR that I bought 40 years ago. I can walk into
    a hundred stores within a 10 mile radius of anywhere USA and pick up
    batteries and film. It will take pictures as well as it did when new.

    So, gimme standard batteries.
    mike

    --
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    21' RV $3999, 400cc Dirt Bike $495
    Police Scanner, LCD overhead projector
    Tek 2465 $800, ham radio, 30pS pulser
    Tektronix Concept Books, spot welding head...
    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/

    mike Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    In "X" years time, where "X" is a function of device type, manufacturer,
    etc, when its original proprietary batteries are no longer functional, and
    replacements cannot be bought, then that particular device has to be
    discarded.

    I have some severe examples of this (not cameras):

    Kern E1 electronic theodolite: Initial purchase price GBP20,000; battery
    price GBP700, X=3years (but fortunately, given the size of the battery pack,
    and it being external, life has been prolonged to 20 years by making battery
    packs up from standard rechargeable cells! But you need to know the specs).
    [NB, the comma in 20,000 is the "thousands marker", not a European decimal
    placemarker!]

    Aiwa MD player: Initial purchase price GBP150, battery price GBP110,
    X=1.5years (binned)

    I suspect that X is larger for AA format cells than almost anything else.

    If you are trekking hundreds of miles from civilization, there's a lot to be
    said for minimum weight, maximum life, and that does mean a proprietary
    battery, plus spares, and accepting the risks of rapid obsolescence. If you
    are wandering around Europe, never far from a town where at a pinch you will
    be able to find (non-rechargeable) AAs, but never a chance of getting the
    right camera shop to find a proprietary battery (if they still exist), then
    standard batteries are best.

    Even better, you may just be able to use the same batteries in two devices,
    e.g. camera and flash unit.





    Eddie Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Just go to my website and you just might find a few workarounds under
    Gearheads


    --
    (B>)# I wish you well.....
    Al Jacobson
    Website: www.aljacobs.com


    "Ken Zenachon" <com> wrote in message
    news:com... 


    ajacobs2 Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant


    "Ken Zenachon" <com> wrote in message
    news:com... 

    Calm down. Take a few deep breaths. Many digicams take standard AA-size
    NiMH cells. There are third-party suppliers for many of the other formats.
    I but batteries and chargers from
    http://www.thomasdistributing.com/index.htm, where you can find the
    third-party batteries for many cameras at good prices.


    Marvin Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Silvio Dante wrote: 
    >
    > Most of the Olympus cameras sold over the past few years come with those
    > proprietary Lithium cell "packs" but also take standard AA alkaline, NiCad
    > and NiMH cells.
    >
    > All of the 3000, 4000, 5000 and 700 series will operate on AA batteries.[/ref]


    even those lithium cell packs (CR-V3) are NOT proprietary
    Bob Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Proprietary Battery Rant

    Read the entire thread with interest - lots of misconceptions and bad info
    it seems. I work with camera makers as well as companies that make PSD
    (personal storage devices) and there are GOOD technical reasons to use a
    "proprietary" battery.

    1) The power drain curve on Lithium Ion batteries is much better than that
    of alkaline or NiMH batteries. When used in a PSD that has a Hard Disk
    battery life would be extremely short when used with AA type of cells.

    2) Also the size of a LiION battery is much smaller than 4 AA type of cells.
    Consumers always complain about size - they want it smaller - it is a MAJOR
    design issue.

    3) Also a LiION battery requires a circuit in the battery to prevent
    overcharging so there are no AA type of LiION rechargable batteries made.

    4) LiION batteries hold their charge while NiMH will slowly lose charge even
    if not used.
     

    I doubt most folks will use a 40 year old digital camera since in 40 years
    the resolution and size changes will be dramatic. Also most good cameras
    like Canon and Nikon also use regular photo batteries in addition to the
    rechargeable LiION ones.

    BillyB


    BillyBob Guest

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